Californian Officials are considering putting an end to the sale of internal combustion engine cars as China and countries in Europe look forward to doing the same.
California Governor Jerry Brown has expressed interest in banning the sale of internal combustion vehicles in communications with California Air Recources Board chairman Mary Nichols. The United Kingdom, France and China have all moved to ban the sale of pollution-creating cars by a certain time, and Brown thinks there’s no reason why California can’t do the same.
“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” Nichols told Bloomberg in a recent interview. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”
California is a state that loves its cars. According to data obtained by Bloomberg, more than 2 million passenger vehicles were registered in California last year, making it a larger market for auto sales than France and Italy. If the state were to ban the sale of fossil fuel-burning vehicles, it could have a considerable impact on the automotive industry as a whole.
It’s likely that California will have to jump through some hoops to implement the proposed ban. The state is allowed to author its own environmental regulations by way of EPA waivers, but it’s unlikely the pro-business Trump administration would grant the waiver in this case. That means the internal combustion engine car ban would have to be implemented through other means, such as registration rules and limiting the roads they can be used on, for example.
“We certainly wouldn’t expect to get a waiver for that from EPA,” Nichols said. “I think we would be looking at using some of our other authorities to get to that result.”
With California looking to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, it will have to take extreme measures to meet its goal. Whether or not that means gas care sales in the state will have to end remains to be seen, but it sure sounds as though the state is serious about making it happen.